First, I’ll start off admitting I’m a little wacky. I have weird ticks and very specific ways I like to do things. Despite all my idiosyncrasies, I’ve been fortunate my whole life to have close female friends. I’ve written before about both the sense of loneliness I experienced after having the babies because there was no time for those relationships and also about how those friendships have sustained me and encouraged me when I was in a rough spot. Because of all these positive relationships, I’ve also been fortunate to get along well with most women. I had a rocky work relationship once with a challenging female and I had a falling out with a friend once when we were in very different places in our lives, but those tough times have been few and far between.
I’ve discovered though lately, maybe because I have so much going on and a lower threshold for frustrations, that I can get annoyed at someone over something fairly inconsequential. These someones are usually women and, again, it is still rare, but when it happens you would think the sky was falling. One such occurrence happened this week. I am planning an event that is huge and will reflect significantly on me as a career professional, for good or for bad. I, as you might imagine, have a very specific vision for the event and a very specific way I want to handle some things. I have been insanely lucky that I have this amazing group of women volunteering to make this thing come off flawlessly and I will forever be in their debt.
However….(you knew that was coming), there is one woman who is not volunteering but is in a position to have “input.” Her input has been driving me UP THE WALL! I have, until this week, verbally responded with thoughtful consideration of her suggestions, but it has slowly and steadily been crawling under my skin. I have even had a few volunteers comment on this individual’s “fly in the ointment” situation (this is not a good thing to do because it just gives me more steam to be irrational). Well, when handed yet another “suggestion” late one night, I flew off the handle. I immediately emailed back a fairly curt no, my first, and then laid in the bed next to my husband pounding my hands and hollering about this madness. I am sure he was second-guessing his choice in life-long partners at that moment and thinking if there were any madness then it was all me. This one little thing just sent me shrieking off the edge. It was a LITTLE thing.
Have you ever done that? Responded completely and utterly irrationally over something or someone that did not at all deserve it. Break down in tears over someone asking you to pass the ketchup only because it was the 100th thing you had to do. The tears were not over the KETCHUP, but just the ketchup’s cumulative effect. This was that email. The rant and ensuing head spinning was not over the email request, it was the cumulative effect. The fact that I’d spent a year of my life on this project that was going to have a significant effect in my life. I’m going to write this week about the miracle that God has performed to make everything that has happened happen, but needless to say, I was wound so tight over making sure everything was perfect that I couldn’t process anything that was not exactly in my “vision” or that might taint it. Silly. So silly.
If you’re crying over ketchup today, or shrieking about an email, then maybe it’s time to take a step back with me. Release whatever it is you’re holding so tightly. We’re going to end up with ulcers if we don’t (and gray hair and nervous husbands). You may be holding the weight of the world on your shoulders, or jugging two dozen balls, but in either event, we’re right in the middle of the palm of God’s big hand. And if that weight falls off, or the balls go rolling, He’s right there to catch them. So pass the ketchup, delete the email, and treat yourself to a scoop of ice cream.
(Oh, and by the way, when I emailed one of my volunteers the “suggestion” the next day, she similarly thought it was insane and that I was entitled to my rant. It’s really cool that God gives us female friends to “get” us when our hubbies think we’re nuts.)